::Photo and text by +Jo::

I’ve mentioned before I only go home once a year. It also says on my bio page that my parents are two of my closest friends. So why do I travel to Arkansas one time out of the 365 days of a year?





The habit started while I was at SCAD. The first year I attended I traveled every break but I wore myself out and never had any down time between the quarters. Plus, it cost a lot for me to go back and forth as much as I would have liked. I became complacent to the idea I would go home only for the holidays. There have been a couple exceptions to this concept. One was the death of my Uncle James. The other was to help my family patch up old problems.

Yeah, I just put that out there.

Family is always a complicated subject – for anyone – and mine is no exception. We have our problems and we’ve fought through a lot together. All of us and some of us. Some days I want to give up on my family. Some days I cry because I feel I ran away from them all when I was needed the most. Some days I want to call up members to check up on them. Some days I want to rip them a new one. But all the days in the year are saved up for the one trip home.

And durning the travel time I remember why I love my family so much. And why I go home once a year. I need the space to understand them. I need the time to cherish the slim moments I have with them. I ran away to art school following a dream and willing myself not to live the same life as so many do back home.

There are many things my family doesn’t understand about me. I didn’t leave to join the military {like the others}. I left for art. Opposite agendas. I do not want children. I don’t particularly want to get married unless it is an equal opportunity event. I love to “play pretend” on stage and screen. I love to paint. I love to photograph. I love to create. So why don’t I do that back home where I would be closer to everyone? Why can’t I create there? Because I would be too close and too distracted. I would be more involved in mending broken ties. I would be in the middle of family drama that will always be there. I would become caught up in a different life style than what I want to lead.

This probably sounds terribly harsh… and it is not intended that way.

– I think I finally caught up on rest. Family can really wear you out. 😀 #life
Lee Ann -  Imagine living near us!!!!
Jo - Believe me – I understand. I have to build up for an entire year. Lol!
Lee Ann - A lump dose of family. Like ripping off a bandaid. I totally get it. 😉

My family is something very precious and dear to me. Though they fight, bicker, hold grudges and don’t speak – I love them all for these characteristics. For their eccentricities. For their merits and faults, equally. I would not be -me- if I did not have each and every one of my family members in my life. I would not have the life I do if it wasn’t for every conscious, unconscious, spiteful, and loving actions to me and one another. I wish everyone got along better. I wish I could help them all patch things up. But life isn’t as easy as that. Everyone has their reasons for behaving the way to do. There are things I do not know nor understand that has lead each individual to be the person they have become. I stay away because at the end of any day I want to keep the naive notions I had when I was twelve that everyone loved everyone for exactly who they are. That blood is thicker than water. Family always comes first.

We have a new member in our family. I did not mention in my last post – but LeeAnn is my cousin. So baby Joelle is my little cousin and will grow within a loving home with so many people that care for her. There are no doubts about that. I spent so much time with LeeAnn and Nick while I was in Arkansas with the three photoshoots I did with them. Yet, I still made my rounds and saw 90% of the people I wanted to see. Even a couple that might not want to see me – I still saw and gave loving hugs.

I had a lovely dinners with family, friends, Eric and my parents. I shared early holiday presents. I did plenty of shopping with my mom and fired guns with my father. We decorated for Christmas time and shared a lot of hot coco. I showed Eric off to the family who had never met him and took a nap almost every day. {The people who are close to me understand ‘nap’ is a rare thing to hear our of me.}  Eric taught my father how to cook traditional Tai Cuisine and my father made us his infamous spagetti when we first arrived in town at 1:00am. My two cats {who traveled with us} didn’t want to leave by the end of our stay. I took photos, but not nearly enough. I was busy seeing the people I only see once a year.

Art stops for my family.

{ <3 <3 }



3 Replies to “Going Home | +Jo

  1. I love you Jo! The photos of Nick, Lee Ann and Joelle are amazing! Your view of our family is so on point! I did get tickled that talking about the family drama was implanted in the gun photos!

  2. Jo, you are clearly open minded and open hearted. That you inherited from your Papa! Me, I can be the bitch from hell and you know that! LOL! The pictures you posted here are wonderful. And Joelle is so BEAUTIFUL!

  3. Thank you for the time you spent with us. You have an amazing eye for the Bullseye and the site at the end of a barrel, at any distance! You are so good and so dangerous in so many different ways……….my love to you always –

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